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Campus & Community

UMD Recognized as “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-Friendly College

Ranking Reflects Efforts to Make Campus More Inclusive

By Maryland Today Staff


Photo by iStock

Photo by iStock

The University of Maryland earned five out of five stars and was named a “Best of the Best” Top 30 LGBTQ-friendly college on the Campus Pride Index released yesterday.

The national listing of more than 330 colleges and universities recognized Maryland for its efforts to create a safer, more inclusive campus learning environment and for its LGBTQ-inclusion policies, programs and practices.

The Campus Pride Index is run by Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create more LGBTQ-friendly environments on campuses. The index reflects a wide range of factors, including LGBTQ support and institutional commitment, student life, policy inclusion, and housing and residence life.

“We continue to be on the cutting edge, and we're proud of the good work of this campus,” said Shige Sakurai, acting director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity Center, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. “At the same time, we must continue to make strides, especially for transgender and gender nonconforming communities and communities of color.”

Sakurai also said that UMD is not immune to problems in society or incidents of bias, and noted an anti-LGBT incident at Queen Anne’s Hall over the weekend, which the University of Maryland Police Department is investigating. “We must continue to be vigilant,” said Sakurai.

In an effort to improve the climate for LGBTQ students, the LGBT Equity Center has recently launched or built on several initiatives: TransTerps, a campaign designed to raise awareness about best practices for trans inclusion on campus, and Lavender Leadership, a racial justice leadership development series. The University Health Center also released a trans health guide and organized a trans health conference.

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